Today was our first day of school, and let me just tell you...I LOVE 3rd and 4th grade! When I taught Kindergarten, I loved it. When I taught First and Second Grade, I loved them even more for 10 years. When I taught 5th grade...I liked it. But to me I think I've really found my home with 3rd and 4th. I can already feel that higher level of passion and drive that comes with teaching where your heart is. The reality is that I was a good 5th grade teacher, but I had to work to find that passion. So today really felt great because it just came naturally.
I already love all of my kids, and I can tell we're going to have a wonderful (and interesting :P) year!
I'll chime in more later with some of the activities we did, but for today I thought I'd finally reveal my classroom!
This is a panorama of my room. As you can see, I'm not blessed with one of those huge rooms that I'm so jealous of that I see a lot of you out there have. By the time you squeeze in 24 desks, a reading table, a carpet area, and a library it's pretty tight.
This is the view from my classroom doorway. Is it just me or does my room seem very...yellow? Bah. I wish we were allowed to paint the walls. That yellow would get washed over with a green or a nice deep red or blue. Sigh.
This monstrosity is part of the reason my room feels small to me. It's my teacher desk. The rooms in my building are all identical (except some are mirror images), and they all have these giant built in teacher desks. At my old school I used to push my desk into a corner. As you can see, I do end up making use of the space though!
These are some of the things on my desk. My pencil dispenser, and the "pencil hospital." In my room kids don't sharpen pencils during the day. I think it's a waste of time. So they just drop broken or dull pencils in the box and then dispense themselves a new one. Then I (or a fast finisher, or my intern) will sharpen pencils occasionally to refill the dispenser.
This is my main bulletin board above my whiteboard, and my CAFE board. (No strategies taught yet!) If you like the CAFE signs they're in my TpT store as a freebie, and so is that Punctuation Conversation on the left!
Here's more of a close up of the board. Note how all of my posters and decor are matchy-matchy. I did that! :) The dual alphabet is in my store, and that MINTS poster is an upcoming freebie right here in a future post!
This is my VOICES board and Writing Process Chart(both also in my TpT store, and matchy-matchy!). I'll add the strategies (on magnetized cardstock) to this board just like with the CAFE board as the year goes on.
This is my daily schedule, which is on magnets, (in the store, btw!) and my NOISE sign. You can see my stamina chart (a freebie here on my blog!) and that poster on a magnetic clip which I change every two days with a different one with a new, fun, thought provoking saying.
I label the corners of my classroom A-D, because sometimes I give the kids a "test" where they have to run to the corner of the room that matches their answer. We do this the first day, when we take a "test about the teacher" (powerpoint in the store peeps!) I just die cut the letters out of some old maps and mounted them on some matching scrapbook paper to keep with my travel around the world theme!
Probably one of my favorite spots in the room, this is my main classroom library area. It's also where I keep the kids' mailboxes and some of their book bins. (I spread those throughout the room so they don't all have to go to the same spot and cause a traffic jam.)
And here is the library looking from the carpet. I finally broke down and bought a bazillion matching bins to replace the junkyard collection of bins I've been using for the last 10 years. I still have to label them though!
And finally, inside the library looking out to the carpet!
So, as you exit my clasroom...you're still learning something! I made this set of horizontal and vertical words to match all of my other posters and stuff. I figure seeing it 360 times (I loop with my kids) might make them remember which is which!
So that's the room as it stands! I actually have a couple more pictures to take, but I didn't want to until I actually finished decorating. I still have a totally blank Math board, and my Writing board is missing all of its posters :( I just finished setting up all my class pets this morning too. At some point I had to prioritize my to do list!
I hope to be back again later this week to share some of the stuff we've done!